It’s not often you get the opportunity to celebrate Reggae legends or even attend a gig where its rude not to sway and keep your feet uncontrollably in motion for the whole duration, but this experience far surpassed any expectations.
Toots himself an absolute show man was dressed to dazzle covered in disco style studs and shades to stun the sun itself. In true diva style he decided to stride off the stage after the opening track complaining the microphone wasn’t serving his vocals thejustice they deserved, however our fears of his departure was soon dispersed as the tour manger 'reassured' us “toots likes his songs to be perfect”. In all fairness after this three minute drama the set continued with a fantastic mix of chilled out vibes from Pressure Drop and Walking on the Moon to the eccentric and vibrant LouieLouie and Take me home, country roads.
Amongst the alcohol fuelled fans and aromas in the air there spread a strange sense of community and love for a legendary sound; the infectious lyrics recalled back to the band and encouraged by shouts of “sing louder Jamaica is far away”.
For fans of all ages the talented musicians age was no concern. A passion for music and oh so familiar offbeats kept the one and a half hour set burning away. Plenty of wide smiles, distinctive drum patterns and beautifully simplistic ringing keyboard melodies remained imprinted on the membrane along with the worthy screeching in my eardrums for the rest of the following day.
The most memorable element was the finale in which an elaborate encore of What’s my Number saw crowd participation which was almost surreal. From mosh pits to group dancing, hugs and chants, all of course encouraged by the man himself.
All of this enhanced by avid followers, fancy colourful strobe lighting, sheer volume and a group of musicians dedicated to what they do and who they share it with made for an extraordinary experience which I am a proud to say I was a part of.